On Happiness, for realsies this time

Of late, many of the people I know have been unhappy.  They don’t know why, they don’t understand it, they just seem to have a permanent cast of the blahs.  Many of them are in therapy, many of them take medication to try to stem their unhappiness, many of them like to complain, some don’t complain at all.

I think the cause of this is the structure of daily life for many people.  Go to work, come home, go to work, come home.  Clean up, eat, sleep.  Computer screens, TV screens, cell phones.  Finances, bills, credit cards.  All of these things for many people make up the majority of their life, and are part of a regimented, droll, unexciting existence.  With no escape, and no future in sight, there’s no wonder many are depressed.

Treating a depression or a sadness that results from these factors with medication seems to me to be avoiding the real issue.  It may work, in some cases, and self-medication is something I wholeheartedly embrace if it’s done with reflection and an open mind.  But addressing the root of the problem will work better.

The way I solve this problem for myself is by embracing freedom.  I believe in the ideal of freedom for myself and for everyone who desires it.  Since I consider myself free to make any change in my life that I desire, whenever I desire, I am less upset when it hands me things I don’t care for, and I am more comfortable being set in my ways (because it is a conscious choice!)

Here are some of the other ways I think we can achieve happiness without taking the chemical route:

  • Live a goal-driven life. Setting goals for yourself achieves two things at once:  it makes you optimistic for the future, imagining yourself in the place you want to be, and it creates a sense of purpose and pride upon the achievement of your goal.  I hope I’m not starting to sound like a self-help book.
  • Embrace intimacy. Make friends as best you can, and don’t be afraid to share with those friends your most intimate thoughts.  The more people in your social circle who are close to you, the more comfortable you are in seeking advice and help, and the more fulfilled you feel when you help and advise others.  The tribe is something that our modern society lacks; and having one can do wonders for your psyche.
  • Embrace freedom. Don’t be afraid to change your life any way you think it might help.  Change jobs, change locations, change your diet or your schedule.  Don’t let anything stop you from doing what you want to do.  If someone does try to stop you, explain your new philosophy to them and ask for help; usually this will bring them over to your side.
  • Be spontaneous! A fixed schedule leads to a dreary life.  If you get an idea in your head that’s different from one you had any other day, don’t suppress it.  Go out into the world and make it happen.  It’s so easy to do things, and you don’t realize it, not really.  This can be as simple as going outside and laying down to look up at the sky.  Twenty minutes of that every day might just brighten your mood a little bit.

I hope this helps.  I don’t do these things often enough, but when I do, it definitely has a powerful effect on my mood.  So just try it out!

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Missing Items

I’ve only discovered one thing that I need that wasn’t left here during the separation:

a hairbrush.

That’s if you’re talking physical items. I also need companionship, love, a best friend, happiness, cuddling, and things of that nature. Hopefully those will come in time.

Meanwhile, if I’m responsible, it will be off to the drugstore with me tomorrow for a hairbrush.

On Happiness

I was going to make a generic post about happiness, how to achieve it, how to measure it, what the purpose of it is, but it probably would have just been a passive aggressive swipe at my wife at this point.  So I’m going to do it the honest way and just talk about what I want to talk about directly.

I haven’t been talking to Melissa very much lately, only doing the minimum amount of small talk that is necessary to coexist in the same space.  I want to tell her why, but then that would defeat the purpose of doing it, so I figured I’d vent about it here.

Here is what I know about her state of mind.  These facts have been verified both through her actions and her words:

  • The thing which is most important to her, the only thing she cares about right now, is being happy.
  • Talking to me makes her sad.

Those two statements, put together, lead me to a deduction!  She doesn’t want to talk to me at all.  This, also, has been borne out by her actions, if not her words.  So I’ve been avoiding it.

I’ve been trying to decide whether I want to talk to her, because what she wants is not the only thing that is important.  I’ve decided that while I’m unhappy not talking to her, I’m more unhappy when we do talk, as long as she is not consoling.  Lately she has taken a less and less consoling attitude, so it really does not affect me either way.  I am almost to closure, and I don’t need anything more from her to get it.

The realtor told us today that she does not need to be here for closing the sale of the house.  I do find it strange, and sad, that she thinks that the way to attain her goal of happiness is to leave forever, and never see me again.

I guess I’ll go into what I talked about at the start a little bit: I don’t think happiness is something you can chase directly.  Happiness comes from fulfilling the goals you have for yourself.  It does not come from food, or love, or sex directly, but only from the realization that you are achieving what you want to achieve.  I hope we can all make those achievements, big and small, every day.

Strange Affectors

The weirdest things have been making me emotional lately.

Today, I was watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager called “Real Life“, which is about The Doctor creating a holographic family and learning what it means to go through the pain and happiness of being a family.  It made me a little sadder than it should have, and a little happier than it should have, at the proper junctures.

Then, I watched the video of Xbox 360 kid.   That kid is so happy.  It made me want so much to be able to make someone, or multiple someones, as happy as he is there.  I wanted that so much to be able to do that for someone.  And the crass commercialism makes me feel, rationally, silly for feeling that way.  If we all had lives where we could make people’s dreams come true, no matter what those dreams are, the world would be so much more livable.